Enable Auto:Time

Auto:Time uses all the powerful information captured by Activity Intelligence to make billing easier than it ever has.

Auto:Time will help you spend less time tracking time contemporaneously or going back to remember everything you did - Never manually track time again!

Auto:Time users bill 10-30% more since you'll be tracking more time in Smokeball.

With the help of Firm Insights, Smokeball can take your practice to the next level.

We recommend reviewing Activity Intelligence Basics and Auto:Time Basics prior to enabling and using this feature.

If you are unsure when it makes sense to turn on Auto:Time, reach out to your Account Manager for the best practices on using this feature.

How to Enable Auto:Time

  • Auto:Time will need to be turned on for every user.
    • In Smokeball Settings, Staff  & Users, navigate to the billing tab for each Smokeball user.
    • Make sure a hourly rate is entered and select "Enable Auto:Time."
    • More details on the other settings provided below.

  • Select the appropriate settings and select save to enable Auto:Time for this user
    • Auto:Time Settings Description
Group activities as one time entry

Activities for every matter will be grouped as one entry. If you want each activity to be an individual entry do not select this setting.

If you want to group activities as one entry, be sure to create a subject in Time & Billing.

Send email when Auto:Time entries are created

Every morning, you will receive an Auto:Time summary email with all activities completed the prior day.

Mark my time entries as billable

This setting makes all Auto:Time entries billable. Keep this setting unchecked for any staff you do not bill for their time.

However, when setting billing types: Fixed Fee by Appearance, Fixed Fee, Contingency (% or $), or Not Billable in Matter Info, Auto:Time default settings will be overridden to not billable.

Include Matter Administration Activities

Matter Administration is tracked by activity intelligence when any data entry is entered in matter details. Matter Administration will be tracked by Activity Intelligence.

Select this setting if you want to bill or include admin in time entries.

Include Memo Activities

Select this setting if you want to include time spent on memos in Auto:Time entries. Memos are a versatile feature that can be used for phone call notes, matter logs, etc.

Group email based fees by subject line

Select this feature if you would like emails grouped by subject line for each day. If this feature is not selected, emails will be grouped by date with all emails, subject lines, and contacts included in one entry.

Only Create Billable Time Entries on First Email Read  This setting refines the creation of time entries for reading emails. With this setting enabled, time entries will only be created for the first email read when in Outlook. This allows the users to flexibility to view other related emails to the matter without creating separate billing entries for that activity. 
Estimated Annual Cost This setting is used to for calculations in profitability reporting in Firm Insights. If you are unsure what the exact cost of each staff member is, the best practice is to put salary plus 10% to account of additional expenses as a starting point.
Timekeeper Classification Code Select the role of the staff for UTBMS/LEDES billing.
Disable access to Financial Information

Select this feature to prevent users from logging in and accessing data in Smokeball Billing.

Disabling access will remove the Billing button, billing widget, and access to any financial data. Users will still be able to access and enter time and expenses with this option selected.

Only users designated by Smokeball can access Firm Insights and profitability reporting.


  • Repeat the steps for all other users and start using Auto:Time.

Did you know...

  • Auto:Time users receive an email as soon as their Auto:Time run has completed. The email will be sorted by matter including the entry duration and amount.
  • Auto:Time entries can be edited and modified before sending an invoice to a client. You can edit the date, description, duration, rate, amount. Note: these updates will not be reflected in Activity Intelligence and only in the time entry
  • Auto:Time entries can be deleted
  • Auto:Time entries are NOT automatically billed
  • Auto:Time can be turned off or disabled by unchecking the box where Auto:Time was enabled.
  • Auto:Time will run every night and create a time/fee entry for all activities performed the previous day.
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